Theresa Mary Burke - interests page

Below are just a few items of interest of Theresa's...

: Eaton's beauty dolls : Song For A Fifth Child : Recorded music : Chez Terrie menu : The AmericansQuiz kids :

Eaton's beauty dolls...

In 1900, Eaton's created a series of dolls known to millions as Eaton's Beauty dolls. A new doll was featured each year in the company's Fall and Winter catalogue, which was delivered to homes across the country. The Eaton's Beauty doll was the dream of many little girls, including Theresa. She had several, including her favourite which was a Black baby., which is still in the family today.

Song For A Fifth Child (Babies Don't Keep)

This popular poem, by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton, was appreciated by Theresa.

Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth!

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

Hang out the washing and butter the bread,

Sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue

(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due

(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew

And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo

But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.

Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?

(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,

But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.

I'm rocking my baby. Babies don't keep.

Recorded music...

When Theresa was about 23 years old, she bought a record player and started collecting 78 rpm records. The record player she bought was very popular at that time, it was a Philco 706. This radio and record player combination was heavily advertised both in the U.S. (as model 1201) and Canada (as the 706). Bing Crosby was the public figure the advertisers chose to use, and the player came with a free "autographed" Bing Crosby record.

Ottawa Citizen ad, June 12, 1947.
Click on to view more details.
Toronto Star, Nov. 24, 1947.
Philco 1201 ad (U.S. model).



MODEL "706", a powerful Philco five tube circuit with Automatic Volume Control, Built-In Long Range Aerial, Beam Power Pentode Audio System, large Electro-Dynamic Speaker, Four-Colour Illuminated Horizontal Dial, Philcote Zebrano Grained Wood Cabinet hand-rubbed to a Satin finish, 11 1/2" high, 16:" wide, 14 1/2" deep.


This ad text could very well have been written today about a modern radio/record player. Parts of it are the same kind of techno babble that most people don't understand, along with exotic descriptions of materials, colour and style.

The suggested retail price of $129.50 was a lot for Theresa to pay out at the time - perhaps equivalent to three week's pay. She may well have bought it on credit - a common thing to do at the time. (She did have an Eaton's account.)

The Toronto Star ad for the "New Philco 706 Consolette" is dated November 24, 1947. This product would have drawn attention as a Christmas gift idea for that year.

The ad for the U.S. version, the "1201", was probably a magazine ad directed at a different customer. You don't even have to read it to know more or less what it says.

Theresa's record collection...

This PDF file contains the list of Theresa's 78s, those that survived. 78s are easy to break, and seem to have become even more fragile over the years. Some of the records in her collection were broken in the sleeves of the binders she had, after having been set aside for many years. 78's usually contain just one recording per side, like 45's do.

The list includes many big band orchestras popular the world over. A name not on the list is "Mart" Kenney (short for Martin, and I always heard it as Mark). Theresa and friends saw him more than once in person at dance venues in Halifax. Mart Kenney and his Western Gentlemen was Canada's premier dance band through the 30's and 40's.

One noticably absent person from the 78's list is Canadian-born Deanna Durbin. Just four years older than Theresa, she was one of her most favourite singer/performers from a young age, known to her for feature movies moreso than for recordings. As a singer, there would have been a radio presence as well. Theresa began collecting VHS tapes of her when they came out, and I later replaced these with DVDs. I also added to the ones she had, but whatever I got she had seen it in the theatres when first released or soon after.

Chez Terrie menu...

Theresa was an avid food preparer. While at home in Louisdale, she was not called upon to cook or bake, but when she got to Halifax, she began to learn. Her first lessons came from her sister Fran, and I believe she also learned some from Mrs. Tousaw (the matriarch of the family for which Theresa looked after the children in exchange for room and board). But it was really when she became a housewife that, and partly out of necessity, she began to learn how to use the food staples to make tasty meals. Desserts were a specialty (as husband Fred would attest).

For a bit of fun, I created this "menu" for Thanksgiving dinner, 1999. Theresa liked to make a variety of offerings so everyone would be able to make up a plate with their own favourites. Fred got the job of helping out. (His specialty was making the dressing and stuffing the turkey.)

The Americans.

Theresa appreciated this clip of Gordon Sinclair speaking on CFRB Radio in 1973 about The Americans...

Quiz Kids TV show...

In June of 1940, NBC began airing a (live, in those days) quiz show that Theresa came to like. Quiz Kids was a radio broadcast game show in which kids answered questions sent in from viewers. Theresa sent in a question and got a postcard reply from the show which she kept with her photographs. It was sent from "Chicago ILL." and had a Halifax post office date stamp of March 20, 194_ (probably received in 1941). It was addressed simply: Miss T. Burke, Louisdale, N.S. Canada, and the reply began "Dear radio friend:".

This file last modified 2/19/2016...

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